By Keith Malik Washington
Deputy Chairman new Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter)- Texas region
“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense for the people who are oppressing them.”
Excerpt from: Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle
Revolutionary greetings comrades!
Do any of you think that the Texas Board of Criminal Justice will decide to pay Texas prisoners for their labor in TCI factories because it is the right thing to do? Do you think the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles will miraculously start considering our due diligence credits and releases because they care about creating strong families in inner-city neighborhoods? Think again my friend!!
Comrades, every day I speak with, or receive communications from, Texas prisoners who for one reason or another, won’t stand up and fight for their rights. In Texas we are given a choice, either work for free or suffer harsh disciplinary sanctions. In Texas, we receive inadequate health care and are fed meals which do not provide the necessary caloric and nutritional values that can sustain an adult human body. In the summertime, in Texas, we face extreme heat conditions which are literally killing us! Prison conditions in Texas are horrible. And now we are delving into the deep nuances of the “happy slave” mentality which is so very pervasive in Texas and is counter to any movement which seeks to liberate us. In order to liberate our bodies, we must first liberate our minds.
Some years ago when the federal authorities took over the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a question was put to the prisoners by the USDOJ (department of InJustice). ”Would you like to get paid for work you perform in Texas prison, or would you rather receive ‘good time’ and ‘work time’ credits that could be counted for reducing your sentence?” Prisoners given such a choice would opt for early release. But the prisoners were bamboozled and hoodwinked.
I have seen numerous men who had prison time slips that showed an accrued combination of flat time (actual time served), good time (awarded for good behavior), and work time (credit awarded for working), that had exceeded their official sentence length by almost two times!
What I am saying is that there are men and women in Texas prisons who have been credited time which exceeds their actual sentence by 50% and in some cases 100%. That means on paper they have served up to 200% of their sentences! Why are they still in prison?! The Texas Department of Criminal Justice told “Uncle Sam” they would honor a prisoner’s good time and work credit instead of paying for the work. Senator John Whitmire was actually instrumental in making these good time credits meaningless! Whitmire is a Democrat and he is Chairman of the Texas State Criminal Justice Committee. So all of you who grew up thinking that Democrats were for the people – think again! Whitmire also known as ‘Quitmire’ has been surreptitiously working with conservatives for years in order to oppress his minority constituents.
Comrades we have been lied to and tricked. The oppressors who sit on the Texas Board of Criminal Justice have attached a numeric monetary value to prisoners, and so has the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, there is no way they will ever honor these bullshit credits and release us. The only logical way forward is to withdraw our Free Labor.
So, with this and many other relevant factors considered, we must ask ourselves; “when is enough, enough?” How many more comrades must we see murdered before our eyes? How many times will we allow the office of the Inspector General in Texas to rule these homicides to be accidents, or suicides, or justified? How much longer must we wait for journalists in Texas to give fair, honest and equal coverage to our suffering? When will we all come together in order to resist and rebel against an oppressive system which has no interest in our success or future happiness?
Can we, the lumpen-underclass in Texas, match, or surpass, the efforts of 33,000 determined and single-minded prisoners house in the State of California who finally had enough and with their 2013 hunger strike took their destiny into their own hands? Our path to freedom in Texas, and throughout every slave camp and gulag in Amerika starts with proper education. Grasping the concepts set forth by Mao, Lenin, Marx, and Fannon is a start.
In “Liberation or Gangsterism Part I and II” Comrade Russell Maroon Shoats/z tells us that imperialist oppressors will initiate and implement programs and policies in order to sabotage the success of a revolutionary movement or destroy it from the inside out: co-optation, fear, or as in the case of comrade Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson separating the most advanced revolutionary element from the people.
Serving the people is a big part of being a new African Black Panther I owe most of my political development to Comrade Rashid. Educating the lumpen, our fellow prisoners and Free World supporters and comrades is one aspect of serving: awakening the lumpen is another. There is something exciting going on in Texas! With the help of the Industrial Workers of the World and then Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee prisoners across Amerika will cease being “happy slaves” on September 9th, 2016. Will you join us? We definitely could use all of your help and support.
Dare to struggle, Dare to win, all power to the people!